A serious question for people born deaf

If there’s anyone on this board who was (or knows someone who was) born deaf, I have a question (I hope you don’t find this offensive);

At what point, and how, did you find out that you were deaf? Did you always know, subconciously that there was something different, or did you have to be told?
And, how exactly would somebody go about telling you that you are deaf, and explaining what hearing actually is?

I’d really appreciate an answer as it’s been sort of bugging me recnetly.

Can you please speak up I cannot hear u !!!

Cute tigeress…would you like that in all caps?

Anyway, back to the OP, someone points a finger at you & says you can’t hear & you can’t figure out what
they are saying cause you can’t hear them. So they point to their ears & shake their head &
you still dont get it. So eventually they put in you a private school for the deaf, where everyone
informs you that you can’t hear.

At what point did you know what it meant, though? In the private school? What is your concept of what hearing is, if there is such a way to describe it? And what did you think when you were young and wondering what the hell they were pointing at their ears for? :slight_smile:


Can you recall when your mother or father kept saying “mama” or “dada” to you? Did you wonder what the heck they were doing that for?

Some things go far back in one’s life. The first sound I heard was a waterfall in a national park when I was about five or so. And the next was a fire engine’s siren.

Now, I’m no longer hard of hearing (well, except for the minimal hearing loss incurred from serving in an Armor battalion, an Artillery battalion, and on two aircraft carriers). I really can’t recall a lot of stuff that happened prior to age six or so. Can you?

I wasn’t born Deaf, but I know a alot who have been & its kinda like what I described. One guy thought he was going to
go to Washington to get ‘new shoes’ turned out to be not shoes, but ‘school’. I think some of them
think that sound is a joke that hearing people play on them.

No, I don’t remember that far back, but what I was trying to ask was when did the understanding come about the difference. Not knowing what sound is, how complete can that understanding be? It’s not like someone who is born paraplegic, who can see the difference between themselves and someone who can walk - in the case of someone who is deaf (or blind for that matter), how complete is the understanding of what sound is (or sight)? Like handy just said, there are people who likely think that sound is a joke…

I was just wondering whether there was some moment of realization or not - I obviously don’t expect people to remember when they were toddlers, and the part about wondering about people pointing at their ears was meant as a joke. I can just imagine some toddler sitting there wondering “What the fuck? Ears? What does that have to do with anything?”. Hencethe smilie face.

Maybe I shouldnt become a humourist, then… :slight_smile:

I don’t find it offensive at all, and I actually think it’s an intriguing question.

I was born severely-to-profoundly deaf. I honestly don’t recall any moment of epiphany where I realized that I was different from the vast majority of the people around me. I was fitted with very powerful hearing aids when I was 18 months old, and I really don’t remember a time when I wasn’t wearing hearing aids. For me, it was just some aspect of myself that I regarded as a given, like my brown hair or hazel eyes.

I was born deaf and didn’t realize I had a problem until I was about 5 when I got my first hearing aid. I was lipreading and used to watching silent tv. When I sat down to watch tv the first time after getting a hearing aid, I jumped back and said “Mommy! tv talks!” It was a schoolteacher that alerted my mother to the fact I couldn’t hear. After I was diagnosed, I needed an operation and then got the hearing aid. Up 'til that time, everyone just assumed I was stubborn or ignoring them. I would often do the opposite of what people said like “Don’t touch the stove, it’s hot.” ::me touches stove:: “Ouch! the stove’s hot!”
Afterwards wasn’t a big deal to me. The biggest pain in the butt for me was having to wear a hearing aid that wrapped around the ear so it jostled around when I was playing sports or doing other physical stuff. I knew it made me different from most people but I really didn’t consider it important or even worth noticing. Like Atreyu says, it’s no more important than the my hair color.
Before the hearing aid, I was never aware that people could hear things I couldn’t. Nowadays, I’m constantly reminded of that fact.

I’m not deaf, but my cousin was born profoundly deaf. She was about a year old before her parents noticed. She can’t pinpoint a moment when she knew she was different from other people, but it was somewhere from age 2 - 5.

Sort of related: my eyes are different colours because of the same syndrome that makes my cousin deaf. I can remember when I realised that I was different. I was 4 years and a few months old, and it somehow clicked: I’d been subconsciously aware for some time that I had “special” eyes, but that was when I came to conscious realisation. I went up to my mother, pulled my eyes open as wide as they’d go and asked “Mother, what colour are my eyes?”

Being a mother, she replied “They’ll be red if you don’t stop pulling them like that”. :rolleyes: